U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday became the second Obama Administration official in as many days to publicly announce his support for marriage equality.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Duncan said, without hesitation, “Yes, I do,” when asked by host Mark Halperin whether he believes “same-sex men and women should be able to get legally married in the United States.”
Asked whether he’s ever articulated that support before, Duncan replied he doesn’t believe anyone has asked him publicly before about his position on same-sex marriage.
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“Arne Duncan joins Joe Biden now in embracing civil marriage for committed gay and lesbian couples. Duncan speaking out is particularly important given his role as the nation’s top education official,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese, in a statement shortly after the broadcast.
“In supporting marriage equality, he communicates to all students that they deserve an equal shot at the American dream of love, family and equality. There’s no doubt in my mind that the president shares these values and that’s why it’s time for him to speak out in favor of marriage equality as well,” Solmonese said.
To date, Duncan becomes the third member of the Obama Cabinet to embrace marriage equality. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was the first to express his support last November.
Halperin said he intends to ask all administration officials who come on the show whether they favor marriage rights for gay couples.
In an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Vice-President Joe Biden told moderator David Gregory that he is “absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”